Archaeologists Believe They’ve Discovered The Tomb Of Santa Claus

A team at St. Nicholas Church in Demre, Turkey has found an intriguing shrine beneath the floors, previously unseen due to the tiled floor’s intricate mosaic.

The historic St. Nicholas Church in Demre, Antalya, Turkey.

For centuries, the location of the grave of St. Nicholas of Myra — the inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus — has been contested. Historical records have claimed that he was buried at the church that bears his name, but extensive searches of the grounds revealed nothing of substance. 

Meanwhile, many believed that his remains had been smuggled out of the church by Italian merchants during medieval times. After all, there was an empty grave in the building that had clearly been looted. And the body of a man thought to be St. Nicholas was laid to rest in Italy during the Crusades.

However, the head of Antalya’s Monument Authority, Cemil Karabayram, told the local news that he and his team had found a shrine beneath the floors of St. Nicholas Church, previously unseen due to the tiled floor’s intricate mosaic. He said that they found the shrine during a routine survey.

They uncovered what they believed to be a tomb, which may hold the remains of the real St. Nicholas. As for the man laid to rest in Italy? Some experts now say that those remains may belong to another person — and the grave once thought to hold St. Nicholas may have held someone else.

Though the discovery has yet to be proven via excavation, Karabayram is determined to follow through with the next step — even though it will be a long, tedious, and complicated process to complete.

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